Minister Paulwell Says “Tremendous” Achievements Under Tablet In Schools Pilot

Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, is reporting outstanding achievements at several schools, in which the Government’s $1.4 billion Tablet in Schools pilot programme has been implemented.

“The experiment has been tremendous, so far,…especially at the pre-primary and primary levels,” the Minister said, while addressing the University of West Indies’ (UWI) Open Campus fair and exposition, at the Mona campus in St. Andrew.

“We find that, almost overnight, the reading skills have improved, also the level of confidence on the part of the youngsters…and (there has also been an) increase in the morale of the teachers…it really has been quite tremendous,” he added.

The Tablets in School programme, which commenced at the start of the 2014/15 academic year last September, is one of several initiatives being financed under the Universal Service Fund (USF).

The project has targeted the distribution of 25,000 tablet computers to teachers and students in 38 educational institutions islandwide, including early childhood, primary, and secondary schools.

The UWI Open Campus has benefitted from the USF, through a $100 million allocation to boost the institution’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure and programme delivery.

Mr. Paulwell saluted the work of the Open Campus, which facilitates the delivery of tertiary education, outside of the traditional classroom setting.

He gave the Ministry’s undertaking to continue working with the institution’s administration “to ensure that the methodologies that you have adopted will continue…, so that we can achieve, in the long run, growth in the economy, and jobs.”

The USF, established in 2005, has generated over $12 billion in earnings from the cess imposed on international calls terminating in Jamaica.

Some 216 community access points (CAP) have to date been established under the fund, to facilitate greater public access to broadband technology and computer services.

Jamaica Information Service